December 2, 2018

          

First week of Advent: Today Fr. Matthew told us that Advent is not only a time often forgotten, but also a difficult season to celebrate because of the commercialism: Even before Halloween, Christmas items fill the stores.  Still, Advent is a time of reflection.  “Are we becoming more like Jesus?  Was this past year good, better, worse?  Is this time to hope for something— or to lose sight of life’s meaning?  You’ve got to rekindle that hope in the righteous shoot: Jesus.  A king is coming, a shepherd king!  Experience Advent.  Slow down.  Reflect.  Experience the fullness of hope.”

We are preparing not simply for the holiday season but for the coming of the Lord Jesus with power and great glory.  We anticipate not just the celebration of Jesus’ birth— we anticipate his return to complete the transformation of this world into a world of justice, peace and love (Leslie J. Hoppe, OFM; Catholic Theological Union).

          

          

          

          

December 2, 2018

      

November 25, 2018

          

Solemnity of Christ the King / Thirty-fourth week in Ordinary Time: Fr. Romeo told us that “Jesus is Lord.”  Today the Church asks us to reflect on Christ’s message: “Act with love, compassion, forgiveness, and nonviolence.”

“The king whom we follow and who accompanies us is very special: He is a king who loves even to the cross and who teaches us to serve and to love” (Pope Francis).

“I love you not because you have the power to give heaven or hell, but simply because you are— my king and my God” (St. Francis Xavier).

          

          

          

November 25, 2018

                

November 22, 2018

          

O God, when I have food, help me to remember the hungry;
when I have work, help me to remember the jobless;
when I have a warm house, help me to remember the homeless;
when I am without pain, help me to remember those who suffer;
and, remembering, help me
to destroy my complacency and bestir my compassion.
Make me concerned enough to help by word and deed
those who cry out for what we take for granted
(Samuel F. Pugh, 1904-2007).

          

Lord God, your gifts of love are countless
and your goodness is infinite.
From your hand we have received generous gifts
so that we might learn to share your blessings with others.
We come to you with gratitude for your kindness.
Open our hearts to concern for others
so that we may share your gifts in loving service to them.
Amen.

          

I offer this day to you, dear God.
Thank you for the blessings you have given me.
May I use these gifts to build your kingdom.
May my actions be a reflection of your love.
May what I do today bring others closer to you.
May my words be kind and gentle,
and may they bring joy to others.
Today, help me to give back
a portion of what you have given me.
Amen.

          

We gather at this table, Lord,
to give thanks for the many ways you have blessed and cared for us;
to share the stories and the memories that make us a family;
to remember the table of the Eucharist
and your call to feed those who hunger in any way.
On this Thanksgiving Day,
as we gather at this table, Lord, make us one in faith and love.
Amen (RCL Benziger; 2018).

*Altar photos: November 22, 2012; November 17, 2013; & November 20 & 22, 2018; respectively.

November 17, 2018

          

Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time: “Darkness comes over us at this time of year,” Fr. Romeo told us.  “But death doesn’t have the final word.  The good news is that Jesus has risen from the dead.”  Love has prevailed so that we have the promise of hope.

The month of November and this week’s readings exhort us to… snatch up every opportunity to love God and neighbor while we can….  We pray we will also have the joyful surprise of seeing the ways that God made through the tiniest promptings of grace, something lovely for eternity in and through us (John R. Barker, OFM; Catholic Theological Union).

O Lord, my allotted portion and my cup, you it is who hold fast my lot.  I set the Lord ever before me; with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed (Psalm 16:5, 8).

We are not allowed to know when Jesus will come; but our faith that his victory has been accomplished, together with the ongoing signs of the end that we are given, prompt us to persevere in our ministries in hope, the hope of seeing the victory accomplished (Richard Conrad, OP).

Lord Jesus, “grant that I may spread your truth and merciful love wherever I go” (Don Schwager).

          

          

         

          

November 18, 2018

                

                

November 11, 2018

                

                

November 4, 2018

          

Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time: Fr. Matthew asked if we love God enough to love our neighbors.  “God won’t forget us.  He’ll never stop caring.  He deserves the same from us.  With sacrificial, unconditional love we can transform the world.”

“If we really love God and pray, we will be lured into active, generous love for anyone who needs us” (Mary M. McGlone, CSJ).

“I love you, O Lord, my strength, my rock, my fortress, my deliverer” (Psalm 18:1-2).

          

          

          

                

November 4, 2018

                

October 28, 2018

          

Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time: Today Fr. Romeo said that we have no power except through God.  “Spiritual life begins in the beggar.  Every prayer is efficacious, but we must have sight to make the journey.”

Our Lord, who had heard Bartimaeus right from the beginning, let him persevere in his prayer.  He does the same with you.  Jesus hears our cries from the very first, but he waits.  He wants us to be convinced that we need him.  He wants us to [beg] him, to persist like the blind man waiting by the road from Jericho (St. Josemaría Escrivá).

[I]t is only when we make demands on Christ and come closer to him and he to us that we find ourselves confronted with the question of who we really think Christ is and what we do want Christ to do for us (Martin Ganeri, OP).

“[The] Kyrie eleison… prayer is a plea for God’s effective mercy, the grace that gives us what we need for faithful discipleship at any moment” (Mary M. McGlone, CSJ).

          

          

          

October 28, 2018

   

October 21, 2018

                

Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time:

Today’s readings beg the question: “Disciple, just who do you think you are?”  The true answer comes from knowing what we seek and the company we keep (Mary M. McGlone, CSJ).

If Jesus is followed in faith and honesty, then confusion can be driven out by wisdom, fear by courage, pride by humility, rivalry by collaboration, and selfish ambition by a self-giving love.  There is hope for all of us yet.  Such is the life-giving power of the ransom, which he has paid for us (Dermot Morrin, OP).

Christ shows us the fullness of who God is and how God leads: by self-sacrificial love and service.  It is this model that has been placed before each of us to follow.  Therefore, for any of us to bear the name of Christ and exercise leadership any other way is to be a living contradiction of the Gospel (Daniel P. Horan, OFM; Catholic Theological Union).

“Let us throw ourselves into the ocean of [God’s] goodness where every failing will be canceled and anxiety turned into love” (St. Paul of the Cross).

            

October 21, 2018

      

*Altar photos: October 21, 2012.